Outside the window in my third floor office is a tree. I just moved to this office this winter, so it has always been naked and bare in my experience.
There is a ragged old bird’s nest in the crook of two branches. One day I noticed a pair of mourning doves checking it out. Before long they were crooning and courting, and Mama Dove began settling in. Papa sat on a branch keeping watch, occasionally flying in to check on things.
Suddenly, the doves scattered as a hawk landed in the tree. I was so excited, thinking I might see a bit of natural selection right outside my window. But the hawk left and eventually the doves returned to their routine. It was a bit distracting, waiting for the hawk to swoop in. More than once I lost concentration during a meeting when I saw fluttering at the nest. I expected – hoped, actually – to see the hawk devouring a dove.
Then the weekend came and went. On Monday, the doves were gone. I found myself sad, thinking that the hawk had had one, or both, for dinner. Just a few days before, I was watching for that very outcome. Now it made me sad.
By Wednesday, Papa Dove returned, then Mama. Or was it a replacement dove? That two-timing avian! He sure didn’t mourn long for a mourning dove, did he! The new pair is nesting, and I’ve forgiven Papa Dove already.
But Friday is coming, and I bet the hawk is getting hungry.